Horror Movie Review: Crawl (2019)

Crawl is a horror film that was directed by Alexandre Aja with Sam Raimi producing through his Ghost House Pictures banner.

Crawl has a wonderfully simplistic concept. Haley Keller receives a call from her sister who informs her that a category 5 hurricane is about to hit Florida. Haley is advised to get out of state but she’s concerned for her father, Dave who’s not answering his phone. Against the instructions of Florida State Police, Haley drives around evacuation routes to check in on him. She first goes to his condo, where he has been living since he and her mother divorced. Haley finds the family dog Sugar at the condo but not Dave himself and is worried that he has returned to the family home, which he supposedly sold years ago.

Haley and Sugar navigate the flooded streets and find Dave’s truck at the house. There, she descends into the crawl space underneath the house and eventually finds her father unconscious and wounded. When she tries to drag him out, her exit is cut off by large and ravenous alligators. Haley and Dave find a safe area at the far end, away from the giant reptiles. However, the hurricane intensifies and the crawl space begins to flood. Therefore, Haley must act quickly and navigate her way around the alligators before she and her farther drown.

I always found some of my favourite horror movies were the ones that had the simplest premise. Also, I’m a fan of those that take place in a single or limited number of locations. Crawl is delightfully tense throughout, it will get your heart pumping. This is mostly due to how enjoyably unpredictable it can be. I felt compelled to watch on, not wanting to look away for a second.

The story is a simple one that feels grounded in reality. Haley & Dave manage to build an effective emotional connection. They get put through some serious shit and by the end of it all, I wanted to see them survive. I don’t think anyone can doubt that they earn their survival, whether they get it or not. A lot of what happens can best be described as fortuitous for the characters. Whether you find their unlikely survival at certain points believable is up to you, I was fine with it. One thing I’m sure we can all agree on is that Sugar must survive.

The effects throughout are strong. The alligators look really great. Although, there are a few angles where the CGI isn’t perfect but I’m nit-picking. However, some shots of the hurricane are a big dodgy looking.

Too often, characters in these types of films make constant dumb decision after dumb decision. What I can say is that Dave & Haley mostly play it smart and I mean mostly. They make an attempt to recover a boat across the street and it just feels like they are purposely putting themselves in danger. I know there are injury concerns but it felt like the whole thing only happened to create further tension. Also, can a human being really out-swim an alligator? I have no idea but I imagine not.

Special mention – guy that attempts a rescue and leans into the basement knowing there are alligators, yeah screw that idiot.


Ultimately, they survive when they decide to head up to the second floor and eventually the roof. To me, it just seemed like the obvious solution. I know they have injuries to worry about but in terms of getting away from the alligators, it’s a no-brainer.


Crawl is a lot of fun and I genuinely believe that it’s worth your time. There’s a sort of B-movie vibe to the whole process so leaving your brain at the door may be for the best.


  • Liam Fisher

    Owner/Editor/Writer/YouTuber - Typical 90s-00s kid; raised on Pokémon, Final Fantasy & the Attitude Era. In fact, that makes up about 99% of my personality. The remaining 1% is dedicated to my inner rage for people who still don’t understand the ending of Lost or those that enjoyed the Game of Thrones final season. Find me on GBHBL where I’ll most likely be reviewing horror movies or games. Also, see me on our YouTube channel!

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